Looking for advice or experiences creating a family book

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skjaburk
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:03 pm
Location: Minnesota

Looking for advice or experiences creating a family book

Post by skjaburk » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:38 am

Hello,

First, I hope all of you enjoy the ease and intuitive workflow of ifamily. I sure have. Now, after 1500 people in my ifamily database its time to start creating a family history book using the info from ifamily, with photos and news clippings currently in iphoto.

For the long-term I plan to get photos etc. moved into ifamily from iphoto, but it doesn't seem to me that its necessary in order for me to start laying out a book.

Given that all of this is on a Mac (have windows if needed) and MS Word on the Mac too, is there anyone out there who has any advice for me before I embark on laying out a family history book/scrapbook. I intend to use Apples Pages unless someone has some horror story and thinks it necessary to purchase higher end software like InDesign, or some other consideration that would steer me away from Pages.

Write soon as the mouse is about ready to work the drag/drop repeatedly from iphoto and ifamily over to Pages. Thanks much in advance for your time and constructive thoughts.

A separate issue is how best to caption my photos. I have explored some ways of leveraging IPTC metadata to caption photos in a batch operation. However, since there is no iphoto method of mapping face names to IPTC description or other metadata field, I am probably just going to create Text Boxes under my images in Pages and enter the photo caption (basically just the names) in that manner.

Thanks again for any input!!

scutler
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:59 am
Location: Australia

Looking for advice or experiences creating a family book

Post by scutler » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:22 am

Pages will do the job for you very nicely. I recently downloaded a trial of InDesign and it certainly does do much more than Pages but I finally concluded that all the extra bells and whistles were not necessary for me.

A Pages project of mine printed up very well at the local office supplies shop. All that's needed is to convert the Pages file to a pdf using the Print dialogue. The pdf file is also excellent for viewing on a computer.

The only problem I've had was a slowing down of Pages when the number of pages in a document became very large - more likely to happen when there are lots of images in the document. To get around this I now split the project into bundles of around 70 or 80 pages at a time. Then when all the editing is complete I join them together into one Pages document before creating the pdf. Am currently working on one document that has reached nearly 100MB in size but Pages is still handling it well.

I always use a text box to caption the images. Hope this is helpful.

mgayler
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:54 am

Post by mgayler » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:25 am

Hi skjaburk and scutler,

I've been meaning to start creating a book myself and have looked at a few options over the past few years.

Pages is great and would definitely do a decent job, but have you seen Blurb? I haven't used it myself yet but it looks like you have a lot of control over design, and you have have hard-copies printed, or also create ebooks. You can download their book creation program for free or you can do it all online.

They seem to have a lot of examples of books that are quite 'picture heavy', and they say that they can support picture files up to 10mb when creating online, or up to 15mb offline.

www.blurb.com
http://www.blurb.com/make/bookify

When I finally end up doing our family book, I think I'll give Blurb a go - the examples looks really great :)

Good luck with your book!
Cheers - Madeleine

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Pewterpot
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Location: Kent. UK

Post by Pewterpot » Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:31 pm

When I first decided to look deeper into my own family tree, I realised how little I knew of my grandparents life and how they lived in their early days.
This prompted this old man to give some knowledge to my own grand and great grandchildren by writing - and publishing - a book of my life story should they ever be so interested (I decided to do this after successfully writing a small book of my experiences as a craftsman pewterer for 36 years from the 1950’s).

I wrote both of these hard back books using Appleworks (Yep! I still have it) because I just couldn’t get on with Pages and found AW so much simpler after using it for so many years. My choice.

I learnt that the format of a document when using mirrored pages (ie: Left and Right) is quite important because it can be easily forgotten that the inner margins (spine edge) of the inner side of the page should be slightly wider than the outer edge of the page, perhaps by just two or three millimeters otherwise the written words could be difficult to read.
Of course, this will not matter if the book is being Ring Bound, but on books that are Perfect Bound the spine is usually glued, which usually takes up a little of the margin.

I also realised after the first book was printed, that an ‘indent’ at the beginning of each paragraph made it look more pleasing to the eye for the reader. Perhaps this is a formality anyway!

I did not use colour photographs in either book as I found it would be much more than I could afford at the time, but I converted those needed coloured photo’s from iPhoto into black and white. Cropped and sized as necessary. No problem.
Using B&W pics was fine for me, but the paper quality and heaviness for such must be pretty good. I used 100 gramme paper for both books.

Page numbering will need a 'Footer' or 'Header' to each page - this will be automatic if included when formatting the document. I found this a bit confusing because ALL the pages were numbered when it is usual - apparently - to leave the name of the book, the chapters and any Preface without a number. There is a way around it, but I got confused. It's me age 'innit?

Many printers will give you the dimensions required for a cover. If the book is to be printed as Perfect Bound, the number of pages to be printed will determine the width to be allowed for the spine. As a very amateurish ‘writer’ I got very lucky by using a printer who gave me a lot of advice and help, and only required a PDF from me using Appleworks which was sent to them by email.
The hard back covers were very plain board with just the name and author blocked in silver on the front. Simples!

At first I thought publishing would be a rather a daunting, frustrating and expensive exercise for me, but in the end it was all so very easy and reasonable for what I required, so the best of luck and success to any and all budding writers.
20" iMac G5.
OSX 10.6.8

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!

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jmje
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Location: Rosebud, Vic, AUS
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Books on Family History

Post by jmje » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:45 pm

Hi
Whilst Pages will do a great job I recently decided the printed media will soon be outdated and decided to produce an iBook using iBook Author.
Very easy to use and your book can be loaded onto an iPad via iTunes.
You can add heaps of photos, certificates, videos etc. that would be impossible to include in a printed book and it is all free.
Burn the book and family tree onto a CD to circulate.
The only issue is how many family members have iPads.
Well worth considering. Good Luck.
Jeanette

Kirsten
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: Looking for advice or experiences creating a family book

Post by Kirsten » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:03 am

scutler wrote:
I always use a text box to caption the images. Hope this is helpful.
I am curious to know what advantage is gained by using the text-box.
Seems to me when I experiment with this that it gets really tricky to get it to behave as I want.

Next day: I am still curious about the advantage of using text box in connection with image.
But in the meantime I have stumbled across this hint which I like a lot because I use Pages more for writing than for graphics. Thought I'd post it since I brought up a "problem" in the first place.

http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?s ... 6064514532 8)

scutler
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:59 am
Location: Australia

Re: Looking for advice or experiences creating a family book

Post by scutler » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:55 am

Using a text box to caption an image allows the caption to be "attached" to the image using the Group function. The image and caption can then be repositioned or resized in one operation, without having to repeat the process for the caption. The caption's text box needs to be the same width as the image. I set both image and caption as Floating and Object Causes Wrap, allowing flexible placement on a page of text.

Kirsten
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: Looking for advice or experiences creating a family book

Post by Kirsten » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:05 pm

scutler wrote:Using a text box to caption an image allows the caption to be "attached" to the image using the Group function. The image and caption can then be repositioned or resized in one operation, without having to repeat the process for the caption. The caption's text box needs to be the same width as the image. I set both image and caption as Floating and Object Causes Wrap, allowing flexible placement on a page of text.
This is a wonderfully clear answer. Thank you, scutler!
It raises more questions. Maybe I should consider "floating"...

In my work so far (I first started in 2008) I have chosen to use inline images because I had such trouble with floating ones.
I often need to add whole sentences or paragraphs - sometimes half pages or whole ones towards the beginning or the middle of a long document. If my objects are floating, by the time I have added a bunch of text, my objects are nowhere near where they belong as illustrations.
How do you cope with that - or do you not heavily edit text or care quite so much just where exactly the images are?
I cannot tell you just how much time and how many times I have worked on this vexing issue...

Unrelated (mostly) Question:
Do you create maps for your documents?
If so, how?
I think I have just found a method simple enough for me by consulting my local Mac forum. If you have an interest in seeing what my struggles were (are), you can go to:

http://www.straitmac.org/phpBB3/viewtop ... 4792#p4792

scutler
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 1:59 am
Location: Australia

Re: Looking for advice or experiences creating a family book

Post by scutler » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:14 am

When writing an article I usually don't add images until I've completed the text editing so the floating images work really well then.

With maps, I use the internet, usually Google Maps. In Pages I add dots and text boxes to mark the relevant places and then attach them to the map with Group, so if you really want to have the map as Inline with the text, the dots and text boxes would move with the map.

For a hand-drawn map I have put a modern map on a page in Pages and used the Draw With Pen shape to trace out the relevant bits of the map. Remove the modern map from the page and you are left with a nice hand-drawn map. Takes a bit of practice to get smooth lines but is fun to play with.

Kirsten
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:58 pm

Post by Kirsten » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:25 pm

Hi scutler,

You've done it again!
A very thoughtful and clear response.

I see that we have different writing processes.
I will reevaluate how I work, but I think I might just stay with my method that the illustrations are there to clarify and illuminate the text - for any reader, including myself during the writing process! :)

In a different forum where I discussed my map problems, it was suggested that I might use Preview for adding place names, arrows etc. to my map image. That seemed to work more easily for me than using text boxes in Pages.
A handdrawn map is very interesting. I would never have thought of that. Don't know if I will use the idea, but I like knowing about it!

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